Meet Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir: best friends and founders of wine and lifestyle brand, Yes Way Rosé. Initially launched as an Instagram account in 2013 – followed by a tote bag, and five years later, delicious wine – the duo’s simple yet effective goal is to spread the sense of joy that is the essence of the rosé. And isn't a little joy exactly what we all need right now?
Anyone who’s followed their journey over the years knows it’s quite an intriguing one. While Instagram is an incredible tool to get your brand out there, it’s quite rare to find a brand that was first built on Instagram, with the product following later.
As lovers of all things summer – including rosé – we’re thrilled to welcome Erica and Nikki to Chronicles. We sat down with them to discuss their journey so far, their love for southern France, and what it’s like to work with your best friend. We hope you’ll take a moment out of your weekend to pause, pour yourself a glass of rosé, and be inspired by two female founders...
talk about a journey! Tell us a bit about the adventure so far
It has been a wild ride for sure! We started Yes Way Rosé because as best friends we discovered a shared passion for rosé and it was inspiring endless humor and creativity in our lives. We used our backgrounds in fashion - I was an editor and Nikki a graphic designer - to give our newfound obsession a personality and look, which we developed both on Instagram and with lifestyle products that featured our bold logo. In those early years, we were learning everything we could about rosé and promoting the entire category. Then in 2017, after taking inventory of what we had grown and where we wanted it to go, we felt confident the right direction was to expand Yes Way Rosé into a wine brand. We set out to make French rosé that is high qualité, delicious, and accessible in price and availability, and that’s exactly what we did.
YOU BOTH CAME FROM CREATIVE BACKGROUNDS. HOW DID THAT HELP OR INSPIRE IN BUILDING YOUR BRAND?
Our backgrounds have helped us immensely. I had a vision of Yes Way Rosé existing beyond an inside joke between us and a very urgent feeling that we needed to pursue it. Nikki was able to articulate that unclear vision when she designed our logo and with her branding expertise. She insisted that our Instagram be visually consistent from the get-go! Nikki continues to design all of the products and is our masterful art director. I am in charge of copy and content on the creative front. That we had full careers prior to Yes Way Rosé has been an even greater asset. We both worked in fast-paced and demanding environments with high expectations. Our professionalism has allowed us to turn a passion into a full-time job
YOU WENT FROM BEST FRIENDS TO BUSINESS PARTNERS – WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? ANY ADVICE FOR FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF GETTING INTO BUSINESS TOGETHER?
We have a very unique and special friendship that I would classify more as a marriage of sorts. We feel beyond lucky that we get to do this together and that we have found a creative soulmate in each other. It’s not always easy and we work through our challenges as committed partners. My advice is to communicate often, especially in the beginning, about mutual expectations and how it’s all going to work professionally. There needs to be a lot of trust. Know that whatever the outcome of the business is that the relationship will inevitably evolve, so it’s best to be prepared going in. Also, enjoy your friend and be supportive of each other.
TELL US ABOUT THE YES WAY ROSé FLAVOUR, AND THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY IT
Our wine is dry, crisp and refreshing with notes of ripe strawberry, citrus, and white peach. It’s the bottled equivalent of a cloudless sunny day with friends when your cheeks hurt at the end from smiling so much, and that’s also the ultimate way to enjoy it. That said, it’s just as good at home on the sofa while netflix and chilling!
There’s something so special about rosé that you can drink it in the middle of winter and get a warm and fuzzy summer feeling (which is what we’re all about). Can you tell us about the connection between rosé and summer, and what makes it so magical?
Rosé has an inherent carefree and joyful energy that we call 'rosé vibes'. These rosé vibes flourish in the summer but they can be tapped into at any time, which is why you get that warm and fuzzy summer feeling when you pop a bottle in the winter! The irresistibly gorgeous color, the crisp and refreshing taste, and that it’s enjoyed chilled make it the perfect drink for warm weather.
If you could hop on a plane right now and go on your dream escape, where are you going?
The French Riviera! Last year while in the south of France for the harvest we traveled to the Côte d'Azur and stayed at a beachfront hotel called Les Roches Rouges, which was one of the most breathtaking places we have ever been. Then we moved up the coast to Antibes and explored for a couple of days. The Riviera has it all: natural beauty, incredible art with a rich history, and insanely delicious food. That rosé comes from such a beautiful place makes a lot of sense and with so many different little towns to check out it must be revisited often.
WHAT'S YOUR YEAR-ROUND SUMMER WARDROBE?
White eyelet blouses and dresses, jean shorts and t-shirts, straw hats, lots and lots of sunscreen!
CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR ABSOLUTE BEST TRAVEL TIPS?
Plan the big things and create structure for a vacation while also leaving space for magic to happen; Try new things and get out of your comfort zone; Have an adventure! When traveling with friends make sure you know what everyone cares about doing so that there’s a nice balance. This will make for a more dynamic trip.
Images by Sara Kerens.